Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Moroccan Metal Scene
Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that haven't gotten as much exposure yet as they should. Last week, we exposed three metal bands from Pakistan and we continue in something of a similar vein this week, turning our attention to another Islamic country, though this time in North Africa, namely Morocco. Morocco had something of a controversial encounter with heavy metal music, when in 2003 more than a dozen heavy metal fans were jailed in the city of Casablanca for "acts capable of undermining the faith of a Muslim" and "possessing objects which infringe morals." The Moroccan courts felt that the black t-shirts adorning heavy metal logos worn by these young men, all of whom played in metal bands themselves, were Satanic. However, after global outcry from musicians and human rights activists, they were released and today, Morocco sees more bands performing hard rock and heavy metal music. This week we will be looking at three such groups.
Formed in early 2006, Analgesia created a blend of groove metal with classical elements, fusing black metal vocals with a more operatic female counterpart. They released their first record, "Return to the Self" the same year and gained quite a following amongst metal fans in Morocco. They have performed at some of the biggest festivals in the country including L’boulevard and have since released two more albums, "Era of the Storytellers" and "Beyond Illusion."
Analgesia - "From The Ashes Of Morocco"
Analgesia - "Honour Your Name"
With a more straight forward hard rock approach, Lazy Wall are a different kettle of fish from Analgesia entirely. Formed in 2003, the band performs a melodic, though heavy take on metal, similar to such bands as AM Conspiracy and Edgewater. They have become something of a success story, performing to crowds of thousands in Morocco, as well as recording an EP with legendary producer Steve Albini in Chicago and performing in several countries including France, the Czech Republic and the United States and in 2010, they became the first rock band to interviewed on Moroccan national television. Their name comes from a wall in their home town of Tangier, on which many Moroccans are said to sit and dream of becoming successful in Europe, leading it to be named Sour al maagazine, ("the lazy wall.")
Lazy Wall - "Cold Enemy"
Lazy Wall - "Superficial"
Sakadoya were formed in 2005 in the city of Settat, which is something of a halfway point between the two main cities, Rabat and Marrakech. The group features a more thrash metal orientated sound, reminiscent of the classic thrash bands from the eighties such as Heathen and Hirax. After slugging it out for four years and performing all over the country, performing at several festivals including L’boulevard, they finally released their first album, "Back To The Age Of Slaves" in 2009, which featured a combination of thrash, death and blues influences and lyrically set out to be extremely critical of global marketing.
Sakadoya - "Victim's History"
Sakadoya - "Back To Age Of Slaves"
What did you think of this week's bands? Please feel free to comment about your favorite bands in this article in the comments below, and check back in next Monday as we continue to unearth more underground metal bands.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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